Socionics (Russian: соционика) is a model of personality based on Carl Jung's work on Psychological Types, Freud's theory of the conscious and subconscious mind, and Antoni Kępiński's theory of information metabolism. The model was founded mainly by the Lithuanian researcher Aušra Augustinavičiūtė in the 1970s, and is evolving rapidly. The name socionics is derived from the word "society", since Augustinavičiūtė believed that each personality type has a distinct societal role, which can be specified and explained by socionics.
Socionics is based upon the idea that a person's character acts like a set of blocks called "psychological functions". Different combinations of these functions result in different ways of accepting and producing information, which in turn results in distinct behavioral patterns and thus different character types. Socionics also includes an intertype relations theory, based on the interaction of these functions among different character types.
Some Socionics sources also believe in a form of physiognomy which correlates physical traits such as weight, shape of nose and so on with particular types. One very popular website for Socionics, http://www.socionics.com, espouses this view, beginning the description of each type with statements like "ENTps normally have a long, slim figure. Other parts of the body are also stretched, especially the legs and fingers. They often have rounded shoulders. Sometimes ENTps have a characteristic inwardly sloping chin." These VI proponents believe they can type people through a process called V.I. (Visual Identification) which it is claimed "is the fastest and most reliable method of Type identification of today." This subset of Socionists believe they can identify type without any other information, and group pictures of particular "types" as examples or training materials. Other proponents of Socionics strongly disagree with this view.
Jung's psychological types
- Sensation - all perceptions by means of the sense organs
- Intuition - perception by way of the unconscious, or perception of unconscious events
- Thinking (logic) - interpretation of information based on whether it is correct or incorrect
- Feeling (ethics) - interpretation of information based on its ethical aspects
Sensation and intuition are called perceiving or irrational functions, and are thus named because unlike the rational or judging functions (i.e., thinking and feeling), they deal with the perception of reality rather than the interpretation of it. One function dominates consciousness, while its opposite characterizes unconsciousness. There are dominant (primary) functions and auxiliary (secondary) functions. It is common to refer to both dominant and auxiliary functions, e.g., intuitive-thinking or sensation-feeling.
Attitude of consciousness refers to the basic direction of conscious energy flow. Two possible directions of flow are introversion (inward to subjective, psychological experience) or extroversion (outward to the environment of objects, other people and collective norms). Opposite attitudes would characterize unconsciousness. Hence the dominant function of consciousness can be either introverted or extroverted, which allows for 8 different major psychological types. Mixed types would include auxiliary functions.
The basic premise of socionics is that the complete information about any given individual can be described by 8 categories, called socionics functions. Augustinavičiūtė introduced special symbols for each of this functions, to simplify their discussion.
|Extroverted thinking||Te||15px||Te is responsible for efficiency of actions, understanding of technological processes, the organization of work.|
|Extroverted ethics (feeling)||Fe||15px||Fe is responsible for perception of an emotional condition of the person, expression of emotions, management of an emotional condition of people.|
|Extroverted intuition||Ne||15px||Ne is responsible for understanding of essence of the phenomena and processes, an estimation of potential opportunities of people and the phenomena, vision of variants of succession of events.|
|Extroverted sensing||Se||15px||Se is responsible for perception of space, appearance and the form of subjects, an estimation of an alignment of forces, strong-willed and power methods of achievement of the purpose.|
|Introverted thinking||Ti||15px||Ti is responsible for understanding of logic communications and structures, classification, ordering, the analysis, logic explanations and proofs.|
|Introverted ethics (feeling)||Fi||15px||Fi is responsible for understanding of mutual relations between people, skill to build attitudes, a moral and moral estimation, aspiration to humanism.|
|Introverted intuition||Ni||15px||Ni is responsible for an estimation of time, timeliness of actions, understanding of a course of processes in time, forecasting.|
|Introverted sensing||Si||15px||Si is responsible for perception of physical sensations, questions of comfort and a cosiness, pleasure.|
The 16 types
Classical socionics theory contains 16 different psychological types. These types are described by their two strongest functions, where Jung's functions are used. While Jung described only 8 types, considering the most dominant function of the personality, socionics, like the MBTI describes the different types based on pairs of functions - dominant and secondary functions. The secondary function is opposite to the dominant function in extroversion and rationality. For example, if the dominant function is introverted thinking (a rational and introverted function), the secondary function must be irrational and extroverted, which means the only two functions that could complement introverted thinking are extroverted sensing or extroverted intuition.
Augustinavičiūtė usually used names like sensory logical introvert to refer to the type. In this example the first function is introverted sensing and the secondary is logic (which must be extroverted). Besides this, Augustinavičiūtė introduced the use of names of famous people as a moniker for each type. For example, she called the type of sensory logical introvert Gabin or sensory ethical introvert Dumas. Some later researchers believed that using names of famous people is not quite appropriate and used instead such names as Craftsman or Mediator. Such names were selected to describe the social role of each particular type as precisely as possible.
In Russian, to keep the text brief, the types are labeled with three-letter acronyms, which are also used to specify the types in English, e.g., ILE, which stands for "intuitive logical extravert". However, some authors in socionics specify socionic types using MBTI abbreviations, given the similarities present in the two theories. In order to distinguish between socionics and MBTI types using this nomenclature, a tradition of leaving the last letter uncapitalized has been established among some groups. For example, an MBTI extroverted sensing feeling judging type is often referred to as an ESFJ, while a socionics ethical sensory extravert is referred to as an ESFj.
The following tables provide a list of types with names most commonly used in socionics:
|Ego functions||Formal name||Social role||Famous Person||MBTI Type|
|Si Te||SLI (sensory logical introvert)||Craftsman / Artisan||Gabin||ISTp|
|Se Ti||SLE (sensory logical extrovert)||Legionnaire / Conqueror||Zhukov||ESTp|
|Si Fe||SEI (sensory ethical introvert)||Mediator / Peacemaker||Dumas||ISFp|
|Se Fi||SEE (sensory ethical extrovert)||Politician / Ambassador||Napoleon (or Caesar)||ESFp|
|Ti Se||LSI (logical sensory introvert)||Inspector / Pragmatist||Maxim Gorky||ISTj|
|Te Si||LSE (logical sensory extrovert)||Director||Stirlitz (or Sherlock Holmes)||ESTj|
|Fi Se||ESI (ethical sensory introvert)||Conservator / Guardian||Dreiser||ISFj|
|Fe Si||ESE (ethical sensory extrovert)||Bonvivant / Enthusiast||Hugo||ESFj|
|Ni Te||ILI (intuitive logical introvert)||Critic / Observer||Balzac||INTp|
|Ne Ti||ILE (intuitive logical extrovert)||Seeker / Inventor||Don Quixote||ENTp|
|Ni Fe||IEI (intuitive ethical introvert)||Lyricist / Romantic||Sergei Yesenin||INFp|
|Ne Fi||IEE (intuitive ethical extrovert)||Psychologist / Reporter||Huxley||ENFp|
|Ti Ne||LII (logical intuitive introvert)||Analyst||Robespierre (or Descartes)||INTj|
|Te Ni||LIE (logical intuitive extrovert)||Entrepreneur / Pioneer||Jack London||ENTj|
|Fi Ne||EII (ethical intuitive introvert)||Humanist / Empath||Dostoyevsky||INFj|
|Fe Ni||EIE (ethical intuitive extrovert)||Mentor / Actor||Hamlet||ENFj|
Aušra Augustinavičiūtė developed a model of personality called Model A, which includes all eight socionic functions. A function's position in Model A reflects the nature of its usage by a particular type. The following diagram is an example of the positions of the functions as expressed in Model A. Note that, although often these functions are numbered 1 to 8, this does not mean that the functions are ordinal in strength, as is the case in MBTI.
Nature of functions
- Function 1 - leading, program, primary, base, or dominant function. This is the strongest conscious function, and the most utilized function of the psyche. A person's outlook and role in life is largely determined by the nature of this function. One is generally very confident in the use of this function, and may defend it when challenged.
- Function 2 - creative or secondary function, is second in influence only to the dominant function. It assists the dominant function in achieving its goal. One may be somewhat less confident with the use of this function than with his dominant function. As a result, the creative function is sometimes less instrumental when a person is challenged or threatened.
- Function 3 - role function, is a weak but conscious function. One generally tries to be at least adequate in areas where use of the role function is necessary. However, generally one has very little control or confidence over the role function, and criticism is painfully acknowledged with respect to it. Tactful assistance is required from one's dual-seeking function to overcome the problems associated with the role function.
- Function 4 - place of least resistance or the painful function, is a weak and conscious function, in addition to being the weakest function of the psyche. One painfully perceives his complete inability to use this function, and reacts negatively to its imposition upon him. Tactful assistance is required from one's hidden agenda to overcome the problems associated with this function.
- Function 5 - suggestive, or inspired function, is a weak and unconscious function which is largely lacked. One requires assistance from somebody confident in this function in order to overcome the difficulties it presents.
- Function 6 - actualization, the hidden agenda or estimative function. This is a weak and unconscious function which one often understands poorly. Nonetheless, this function has a strong influence over one's activities, and one requires assistance from someone who uses it confidently in order to understand it.
- Function 7 - observant function, the function of personal knowledge. This is a strong but unconscious function. One generally has a good grasp of this function, but attempts to limit its use considerably. Arguments calling for restraint are often used to overlook this function.
- Function 8 - demonstrative function. This is the strongest of the unconscious functions. As a result, it is so deeply rooted into the psyche that one is usually not even aware of its existence or utilization.
Blocks of the psyche
According to Augustinavičiūtė, there are four blocks of the psyche: the ego block, the super-ego block, the id block, and the super-id block. The ego block contains the dominant and creative functions, the super-ego block contains the role and PoLR functions, the super-id block contains the dual-seeking function and the hidden agenda, while the id block contains the seventh and eighth functions.
The functions within the ego and super-ego blocks are said to be conscious functions, while those within the id and super-id blocks are said to be unconscious. Similarly, the functions presiding within the ego and id blocks are said to be strong functions which are expressed easily or naturally, while the functions of the super-ego and super-id blocks are weak and expressed with difficulty or support, or are not expressed at all.
The 16 types in Model A
The field of Intertype Relations within Socionics attempts to describe the nature of relations between two different people based on their Socionics type.
Relations of Identity describe relations between two individuals of the same type. Often, both partners will perceive similar situations and problems, and will take similar actions. Partners usually understand the motivations behind the other's actions. A relationship between identity partners is characterized by mutual understanding, self-development, and learning. Each is interested in the other's ideas, and sees their value.
Duality is a fundamental concept in Socionics. Dual relations are characterized by mutual benefit and support. Duality occurs between two members of the same quadra who are both either rational or irrational. So duality partners share the same function blocks, but their dominance is reversed. In a sense, they are opposite sides of the same coin. The 8 duality pairs are as follows:
In dual relations, the super-id functions of both partners are the ego functions of the other. As the super-id functions are generally the areas in which a person needs assistance from somebody skilled in these areas, duality interaction is quite rewarding and satisfying for both parties.
Activity relations occur between two members of the same quadra who share either introversion or extroversion. Relations of activity can resemble duality since the super-id functions are both present in the ego functions of the other partner. However, activity relations are somewhat less fulfilling than dual relations. Each partner's dominant function is the others Hidden Agenda function. Activity relations are better suited to friendly correspondence.
Mirror relations occur between types who share the same ego functions, yet place different emphases on them; the dominant function of one partner is the creative function of the other. Mirror relations are characterized by similar actions and motivations between partners, and mutual understanding. Interactions usually result in a drawn out dialogue, as each partner seems to keep opening up avenues of thought which the other needs to now clarify verbally. An important source of dissension between mirror types is the opposing temperament, as all mirror relations occur between EJ and IP temperaments, or between EP and IJ temperaments. EJs find the passive, unstable IP behavior to be a severe hindrance in getting things done, while IPs find the restless and proactive actions of EJ types paranoid and stifling. Similarly, EP types find IJ types to be somewhat dull and boring, while IJ types see EP types as wildly unpredictable and impetuous.
Comparative relations occur between types who share the same dominant function but possess different creative functions. Comparative partners often see each other as interesting people and are often able to see each other's motivations, but often tailor their actions towards areas in which the other partner is unskilled or uninterested, as the creative function for one partner is the place of least resistance of the other.
Relations of semi-duality are similar to relations of duality. Semi-duality occurs between partners who share each other's dual-seeking (5th) functions but lack each other's actualization (hidden agenda) functions. As a result, both partners often perceive elements of duality from the relationship but feel the other partner is misplacing the correct emphasis; as semi-duals will be able to help their partners with their dual seeking functions but both have the least confidence in the same area of the psyche (thinking, feeling, sensing, or intuition).
Look-a-like / Cooperation
Look-a-like relations occur between partners who have the same creative function but differing dominant functions. As a result, look-a-like partners may often perform similar activities or have similar fields of interest, but often do not understand each other's internal motivations. Look-a-like relations for this reason can become very formal and business like.
Relations of Illusion occur between partners whose creative functions are the other partners' hidden agenda, but whose dual seeking functions are part of the id block of the other partner. Relations of illusion can resemble duality, but neither partner is particularly satisfied, as they receive no assistance in their dual-seeking functions from this relation.
Benefit / Instruction / Order
Relations of Benefit are asymmetrical relations; one type benefits another. Relations of benefit are characterized by the beneficiary's attempt to draw in the benefactor to a world where the benefactor clearly does not belong. The beneficiary's dual seeking function is the benefactor's creative function, and as a result the beneficiary often takes an interest in the benefactor. However, the benefactor's dual seeking function is the beneficiary's place of least resistance, and the benefactor finds the beneficiary a highly uninteresting person. Relations of benefit frequently end with the departure of the benefactor... often to the utter bewilderment of the beneficiary.
Relations of supervision are asymmetrical; one type supervises another. Relations of supervision are characterized by the supervisor's attempt to introduce his base function into the supervisee's life. The supervisor often perceives the supervisee as an interesting person and understands the supervisee's lifestyle, since the supervisor's creative function is the supervisee's base function. Nonetheless, the supervisee is often on the defensive since the supervisor's base function is the supervisee's point of least resistance (the function most vulnerable to criticism). The supervisee often perceives the supervisor to be the evil incarnate, while the bewildered supervisor wonders why the supervisee reacts so poorly to his benevolent assistance.
Contrary / Contrast
Contrary relations occur between types confident in the same area of the psyche but who place different emphases on each function. For example, the relation between an EIE and an EII, who possess in the ego block extroverted feeling with introverted intuition and introverted feeling with extroverted intuition, respectively, is a contrary relation. Contrary relations often consist of similar lifestyles with lack of mutual understanding and differing thought processes.
Super-ego relations occur between types whose ego functions are the other partners' super-ego functions. Super-ego relations are generally characterized by open conflict, discomfort, differing values, and lack of true understanding of partners' motivations.
Relations of Quasi-Identity are characterized by mutual misunderstanding. One partner's ego functions are the other partner's demonstrative and observant functions. As quasi-identicals have opposite functions, they will often have similar interests and become involved in similar activities, but they rarely understand each other's motivations or ideas.
Relations of Conflict are, unsurprisingly, characterized by constantly escalating conflict. Conflictors are the types with the most dissimilar values, and they rarely understand anything regarding each other's motivations or lifestyles. Conflictors may take for granted truths that their partners will dismiss as absurd. Sometimes they understand each other so little that the conflict is not well understood, but prevails under the surface, discomfiting both partners to no end. Conflictors also are of opposite temperaments, a fact which both partners often find irritating.
There are four temperaments in socionics; namely, the extroverted rational (EJ), introverted rational (IJ), extroverted irrational (EP), and introverted irrational (IP) temperaments.
Extroverted Rational Temperament
Extroverted rational types, namely the ESE, EIE, LIE, and LSE, are characterized by energetic and proactive behavior.
Introverted Rational Temperament
Introverted rational types, namely the LII, LSI, ESI, and EII, are characterized by slow and methodical behavior.
Extroverted Irrational Temperament
Extroverted irrational types, namely the ILE, SLE, SEE, and IEE, are characterized by impulsive and unpredictable behavior.
Introverted Irrational Temperament
Introverted irrational types, namely the SEI, IEI, ILI, and SLI, are characterized by lack of motivation, inertia, and unstable moods and energy levels.
A quadra is a group of four sociotypes in which mirror, activity, and dual relations are experienced by each member of the group. The unique feature of the quadra is that it offers the greatest degree of psychological comfort among all groups containing four types in which functional interaction is symmetrical. The feeling of comfort and harmony produced by the quadra is due to the fact that all types in the quadra are alike in that they seek to give expression to the shared set of information elements in their ego and super-id blocks and to de-emphasize the information elements in their super-ego and id blocks.
LII (INTj) </br>
Cultural Influence of Socionics
Socionics, having originated in Vilnius, has developed extensively in the former Soviet Union in the past 30 years. In the Russian-speaking world (primarily Russia and Ukraine, but also the Baltic States, Central Asia, and Russian communities abroad) socionics has grown significantly in popularity, and is now a topic of discussion among large numbers of amateurs, as well as a group of a few hundred professionals whose experience and discoveries in socionics are highly regarded. Clubs for socializing and/or theoretical discussion exist in many large cities across the former USSR., A couple journals exist, as well as a number of organizations which periodically hold conferences in Kiev, Moscow, St. Petersburg, and other cities.
In the West, however, socionics exists as little more than an internet phenomenon due to its novelty. (It was first introduced in English on the Internet in the mid 90s.) Although there do exist English discussion forums where some significant discussion of the theoretical and practical aspects of socionics does occur, little understanding of Socionics has dispersed beyond them.
- Седых Р.К. (1994). Информационный психоанализ. Соционика как метапсихология.. НПП Менатеп-Траст. The title of the book can be translated as Informational psychoanalysys. Socionics as a metapsychology. The full text of the book is available online (in Russian).
- Jung, C.G., Psychological Types (The Collected Works of C.G. Jung, Vol.6), 1976 (1921), ISBN 0-691-01813-8 The chapter X, General description of types contains descriptions of basic psychological functions and 8 major psychological types.
- Filatova E. Искусство понимать себя и окружающих. (In Russian, The Art of Understanding Oneself and Others.)
- Аугустинавичюте Аушра Теория функций. Функционика. (In Russian) The title can be translated as Function theory. Functionics.
- www.socionika.info 
- www.socionika.ru/ 
- DeLong, Rick. "The Socionics Community" 
- http://www.socioniko.net (multilingual; the English section contains a very thorough introduction to Socionics)
- http://www.socionics.us (English)
- http://www.wikisocion.org (English and Russian; socionics wiki)
- http://www.socionics.info (links database, English, Russian)
- http://www.socionix.com (American English)
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